” The invisible power of women’s circles on the women in them grows out of the power that people have on one another, which is extraordinary.
Anyone’s self-esteem, accomplishment, development of talent, has to do with whether we have been listened to and valued, loved for ourselves, encouraged and supported to do what we believed we could do.
When there is psychological or practical support for making a significant change, change is more likely to happen. That others believe in us, or have the same perspective we have, or are role models, has a powerful and invisible effect.
The power to resist the collective comes from being in a small circle with like-minded others. It allows us to keep on in the face of ridicule or opposition that we don’t know what we are talking bout, or don’t belong wherever it is that we want to be.” (Jean Shinoda Bolen)
Who are the people in your life who listen to
and value what you say and who you are?
We all need someone(s) to bear witness when we are struggling, changing, suffering, confused, wondering, seeking.
I am adept at managing and trying to wind my way through challenges independently and what I’ve discovered is that when I really NEED help…it would be better if I would actually stop being so independent. This is a sign I’ve fallen into a well-worn adaptive pattern.
My early childhood years were a bit chaotic (and full of love) and what it meant is I learned not to depend on the grown-ups around me. I learned to try to support myself, work it out myself, lean on myself. It was ever so much easier to just lead my life by myself.
It really works for me even now that I know better!
It exhausts me, frustrates me and leaves me without access to the ease I really crave in my life.
I recall learning from the world around me that women’s circles were a bit scary because the women in them were scary to my young self. Many of the women in my family didn’t have the ability to effectively interact with someone as sensitive as my very young girl self.
In my 20’s, while working as a classroom teacher, I had the opportunity to experience circles of women in my profession. They were a bit scary to me too. I found safety in becoming a leader in this world. I didn’t really like depending on these women though. They were not the kind of social circle that encouraged creativity or risk-taking or soft, tender heart-opening work.
I avoided circles of women for decades.
I learned that I prefer private counselling when I’m struggling.
I won’t share my vulnerabilities as freely with a group.
And that’s ok.
And I take part when I feel called.
I offer to lead or co-lead circles in my own home. This is possible now because of a business I ran for 20 years.
In the 1990’s, I opened a music and movement school for babies and children. I became the queen of a tiny kingdom. It was wonderful!
I had the huge blessing to have facilitated thousands of circles with moms and dads and their infants and young children through my music and movement work at Musicalia.
This was ever so much safer than being with JUST women.
There was a kind of safety in this work that can really only exist when we all have a single focus on our younger generation and everyone is offering respect to one another.
This looked like softer gazes, a willingness to forgive, a willingness to try harder to understand and feel compassion for others and leading these groups I could feel that flow and connection between the members of every class. I was able to call that out in so many people because of the social/energetic containers or structures I created for the families.
These small groups of 8 families or less, allowed us all to resist collectives at schools, in the parking lot, on the parent advisory boards, in our extended families and in the outer community.
Time spent weekly with these like-minded folk, gave us all a shared sense of the importance of kindness and cooperation as we sang, talked, danced and played music.
This would never have been possible without the nurturing care of my own counsellors. Taking the time to heal my own heart in therapy during my 20’s and 30’s helped me to grow up. It helped me to grow into the kind of person who could hold space for others.
I think I would affectionately be referred to as “the wounded healer”…someone who has sustained deep emotional wounding and done the inner work to become a safe haven for others searching to heal their own inner wounds.
Maybe you are in the process of healing inner wounds or wish there was a safe place for you to bring light to those shadowy places inside. If that’s you, I have created a healing space designed for the exact purpose. It’s called Breathing Space.
Read more about Breathing Space here
I invite you to contact me for an initial conversation.